Private Sector Development, Privatization, and Industrial Policy

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    Creating Markets in Eswatini : Strengthening the Private Sector to Grow Export Markets and Create Jobs - Country Private Sector Diagnostic
    (Washington, DC, 2022-09) International Finance Corporation
    Eswatini is facing multiple challenges. It was already experiencing weak economic growth before the COVID-19 pandemic, a reflection of longstanding, deeply rooted issues such as fiscal unsustainability, declining private investment, weakening productivity and competitiveness, and falling export diversification and complexity, compounded by the impact of climate shocks. It shifted from a private investment–led higher-growth model to a government spending–led lower-growth model after the end of apartheid in South Africa. With weak investment in productive sectors, Eswatini’s job market failed to keep pace with an expanding, younger labor force, leading to a large informal sector. Eswatini’s public sector–driven growth model is unsustainable under current fiscally constrained conditions, and there is a need to reduce and reprioritize public spending. An assessment of existing sectoral data and consultations with Eswatini’s private sector and policy makers suggest that four sectors can help drive the export-led private sector growth model. To return to an export-led growth model, Eswatini needs to increase export competitiveness by advancing regulatory reforms and improvements in trade logistics that include regional collaboration to address trade facilitation constraints. Finally, given the country’s vulnerability to climate risks, policies to foster economic resilience amid extreme weather events (mainly droughts that affect agriculture) and improve disaster preparedness need to be pursued. The private sector must adapt to this challenge and work with the government to improve climate resilience.
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    Creating Markets In Namibia : Creating Resilient and Inclusive Markets - Country Private Sector Diagnostic
    (Washington, DC, 2022-07) International Finance Corporation
    Since achieving independence in 1990, Namibia’s remarkable growth has been fueled by foreign direct investment and enabled by prudent economic management. Since 2016, however, growth has declined steadily and the economy fell into recession, exposing the vulnerability of Namibia’s economic growth model to external and climate shocks. These challenges were exacerbated by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, an economic slowdown in neighboring South Africa, worsening terms of trade on the back of declining global demand and commodity prices, a decline in Southern African Customs Union (SACU) revenues, and the effects of crippling droughts on agricultural and industrial production. Namibia has very high levels of poverty and inequality, which are largely driven by high levels of unemployment. The primary objective of this Country Private Sector Diagnostic (CPSD) is to identify near and medium-term reform opportunities to revitalize the private sector and help reposition Namibia’s growth on a green, resilient, and inclusive trajectory. This CPSD explores priority reform opportunities to address five cross-cutting bottlenecks: (1) enhancing the role and performance of the state-owned enterprise (SOE) sector through a more effective competition policy environment; (2) strengthening implementation of the public-private partnership (PPP) framework to expand private investments, especially in infrastructure; (3) leveraging the potential for digital transformation of the economy; (4) addressing inefficiencies in logistics and trade facilitation; and (5) tapping opportunities in the water sector for green and resilient growth. The diagnostic then looks in depth at three sectors prioritized by the Namibian government - renewable energy, climate-smart agribusiness, and housing, and provides recommendations for reducing sector-specific bottlenecks to stimulate growth potential.
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    Creating Markets in Botswana - A Diamond in the Rough: Toward a New Strategy for Diversification and Private Sector Growth - Country Private Sector Diagnostic
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-06) International Finance Corporation
    Diamonds have been at the center of Botswana’s growth miracle for decade - but the urgency to diversify is stronger than ever. Although Botswana’s economy has undergone transformation over the past decades, the shift has been largely into non-tradable services, with limited gains in employment, income equality, and export diversification. In addition, Botswana’s high vulnerability to climate change, which affects all major sectors of the economy, underscores the need to strengthen Botswana’s response to climate factors as a basis for renewed, sustainable growth. A positive growth outlook and steps taken as part of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis response should give the government new impetus to accelerate reforms. Success in diversifying the economy will depend on the decisive implementation of structural measures to increase private sector participation in nonmineral exports and transformative sectors. The dominant role that the government of Botswana still plays in large parts of the economy, particularly through its footprint as a shareholder in companies in the corporate sector, is a critical constraint that inhibits the entry and success of private sector participants. Gaps in infrastructure, access to finance, and skills are additional key constraints to employment and productivity growth. A coordinated approach to financing entrepreneurship and policies to increase uptake of digital finance can help close the gap. Trade barriers are another key cross-cutting constraint for the private sector, and a greener path for the economy can be unlocked by facilitating improved trade in environmental goods and services (EGS). Three key recommendations for the energy sector are as follows. The first recommendation is the fast tracking of instruments to facilitate investment in energy infrastructure development, including independent power producer (IPP) licensing, and procurement guidelines and processes. The second recommendation is the enhancement of the institutional capacity and governance model of the Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA). The third recommendation is the development of credit-enhancement and risk-mitigation strategies and supporting instruments to attract and mobilize private sector investment.
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    Creating Markets in Mali: Mobilizing the Private Sector for Economic Resilience and Recovery - Country Private Sector Diagnostic
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-04) International Finance Corporation
    Until the onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (SARS-CoV2) COVID-19 pandemic and despite the deteriorating security situation, Mali’s economic growth averaged five percent since 2014, on par with its long-term potential. Mali’s fragile state status has also taken a toll on economic activity and social welfare by reducing access to markets, threatening food security, and degrading human capital indicators. With an increasing debt burden resulting in limited fiscal space to address persistent security risks and to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the government of Mali is compelled to refocus the role of the state and unleash the potential of the private sector to boost productivity growth, to diversify the economy away from a narrow base, and to ensure inclusive economic and social welfare for all Malians. The growth model will be readdressed around energizing investment, creating resilient markets, and building back better for a more resilient recovery via (a) improving the business environment; (b) crowding-in private participation in the delivery of infrastructure and certain public services; (c) ensuring that remaining state-owned enterprises and private firms compete on equal terms - that is, upholding competitive neutrality principles; (d) expanding public-private partnerships in key sectors, through transparent and competitive procurement; and (e) leveraging digital solutions by further enhancing digital infrastructure that would, in turn, increase the uptake of digital financial services and digital platforms for key sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, and digitize government services (e-government).
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    Creating Markets in Uganda: Growth through the Private Sector and Trade - Country Private Sector Diagnostic
    (Washington, DC, 2022-02) International Finance Corporation
    This Country Private Sector Diagnostic (CPSD) investigates the potential for greater private sector investment to meet some of Uganda's development challenges. At least 600,000 Ugandans enter the labor market every year, making for a workforce that is increasingly younger and urban based. To address the country’s simultaneous productivity and job challenge requires a focus on growth in sectors that can leverage demand from abroad, are labor intensive, and low skilled. Three sectors hold promise in this regard: agribusiness, which is important for productivity, employment, and export growth; energy as an enabler of overall productivity; and housing because of its role in fueling growth in the labor-intensive construction sector and alleviating the demographic pressures that rapid urbanization puts on Ugandan cities. Within the agribusiness sector, the CPSD considers three of the most promising value chains—fish, dairy, and maize—and undertakes a more disaggregated assessment of the environment for private investment.
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    Creating Markets in Madagascar: For Inclusive Growth - Country Private Sector Diagnostic
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-12) International Finance Corporation
    The report is organized as follows: the first part gives an overview of recent economic and private sector trends, followed by an in-depth review of the cross-cutting constraints that affect private sector participation. The CPSD recommends putting a special focus on resolving three types of constraints: (a) deep-rooted governance issues (especially as they relate to policy unpredictability, red tape, and the uneven playing field in key sectors of the economy); (b) infrastructure bottlenecks, focusing on transport connectivity and energy; and (c) limited and poorly functioning factor markets for human capital, access to finance, and land. The second part lays out opportunities and policy options to strengthen competitiveness in agribusiness, apparel, and tourism. The three sectors reviewed are deemed to hold a high potential for job creation and growth and have been prioritized by the PEM and by the private sector stakeholders and development partners consulted for the report. The review puts a lens on addressing gender gaps, policies to promote sustainability, and opportunities to increase the impact of information and communication technology (ICT) as an enabler for development, where relevant.
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    How Have Firms Fared in Times of COVID-19 in Addis Ababa?: Evidence from Eight Rounds of High-Frequency Phone Surveys
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-11-24) Wieser, Christina ; Abebe, Girum ; Asfaw, Adamsu
    The COVID-19 pandemic and its negative economic effects create a need for timely data and evidence to help monitor and mitigate the social and economic impacts of the crisis. To monitor the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and related containment measures on formal firms in Ethiopia and inform the policy response, the World Bank, in collaboration with the government, is implementing a high-frequency phone survey of firms (HFPS-F). The HFPS-F interviews a sample of firms in Addis Ababa every three weeks for a total of eight survey rounds. This high-frequency follow-up allows for a better understanding of the effects of and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic on firm operations, hiring and firing, and expectations of future operations and labor demand in order to better tailor and implement interventions and policy responses and monitor their effects
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    Creating Markets in Mozambique: A study conducted by the World Bank Group in partnership with SIDA - Country Private Sector Diagnostic
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-06) International Finance Corporation
    The Country Private Sector Diagnostic (CPSD) is a joint IFC-World Bank diagnostic that aims to make concrete recommendations for crowding-in private sector investment and financing in client countries. The CPSD analyzes the country context, including the state of the private sector, and identifies cross-cutting as well as sector-specific opportunities and constraints. The analysis presented in the Mozambique CPSD will feed into various upcoming World Bank Group (WBG) engagement reports for the country, including the IFC country strategy and the WBG Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD). Similarly, it is expected that the CPSD will be of interest to the government, the private sector, and other development partners. Policy makers in Mozambique can take advantage of the CPSD to undertake reforms for improving the opportunities for private sector investment in priority economic sectors. The CPSD seeks to provide answers to the main development questions for private sector development in Mozambique, including which traded sectors, beyond extractives, have the most potential to drive growth and productive employment, and what reforms are needed to support this change.
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    Creating Markets in Malawi: The Road to Recovery : Turning Crisis into Economic Opportunity - Country Private Sector Diagnostic
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-06) International Finance Corporation
    Malawi is at a turning point in its political, social, and economic trajectory. Lazarus Chakwera was sworn in as Malawi’s sixth president in June 2020. This marked a historic moment: the first time in Africa that an opposition candidate won a presidential election following initial results being overturned. After widespread unrest prior to the election, Malawians, especially the youth, have been demanding greater accountability, an end to corruption, and tangible progress on eradicating persistent poverty levels that exceed 70 percent of the population. The average gross national income (GNI) of a Malawian is the third lowest in the world, just US$380 as of 2019. The Chakwera administration will need to find a way to unify the country’s fractured political landscape and deliver on development promises. On top of these challenges, the new administration must also navigate the ongoing and evolving economic shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic. Gross domestic product (GDP) growth expectations for 2020 have been lowered from 4.8 percent to 0.8 percent. Recent efforts to build fiscal and institutional resilience have helped but need to be strengthened. The pandemic’s fallout has weakened the country’s macroeconomic foundations, and the overall risk of debt distress is now high. Meanwhile, human capital gains are at risk. Poverty reduction is expected to stagnate, and overall poverty could potentially worsen. The pandemic will likely exacerbate existing inequalities in economic opportunities for women. Women-owned firms, for example, are primarily concentrated in informal agriculture and services, sectors that lack basic social protections to buffer against economic distress. Female farmers, for example, generally have lower access to productive inputs, information, and liquidity than male farmers, so in times of crisis, their farm productivity and food security can be hit harder.
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    Benchmarking Madagascar’s Free Zone Competitiveness
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-06-17) World Bank
    The Government of Mauritius is implementing the Mauritius Africa Strategy, which is focused on positioning Mauritius as a bridge for investment and trade in order to open new markets in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). A cornerstone of this strategy is sharing the successful experience of Mauritius in providing an attractive business environment bundled with good infrastructure and services in order to accelerate investments in trade, services and manufacturing in SSA countries. This technical note is in response to a request from both the MAF and Government of Mauritius and the EDBM and GoM for: i) an update of the current status of the SEZ regime in Madagascar i.e. policy, legal, regulatory and institutional framework and current proposals being considered by the GoM as well as opportunities for improvement, ii) benchmarking Madagascar’s main competitors in the global textile and apparel markets (such as Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Kenya) and comparing their SEZ regimes for textile and garment zones to identify competitiveness strengths and weaknesses and lessons learned, and iii) outline opportunities for successful development of the proposed zone for consideration by both the GoM and the MAF and Government of Mauritius.